New Ski Trail Opens in Lower Riverlot | Riverlot 56 Natural Area | St. Albert, Alberta
  • Follow us:
  • Google Plus

Events and News
15th Dec

2014

New Ski Trail Opens in Lower Riverlot

Further to the news on October 15th, the completion of work to plant trees over the spring, summer and fall of 2014 has yielded a nice, new ski trail winding through the lower open field of Riverlot 56. Track setting was possible in December after an early significant snowfall. Hundreds of skiers and natural area users have tried out the new trail.

The path location is such that the new trail can be accessed at a number of points from the old trail that skirted the edge of the field and travelled through established forest. The new trail is entirely out in the open but plantings are such that, in time, the growing trees will provide some shelter from the wind and blowing snow that could result. In the meantime, the open area views are quite nice and the skiing has been excellent. The slopes are very gentle but enable some nice glides for properly waxed skis on the downslopes. It winds gracefully through the various planting islands and deer exclosure areas.

Dec. 2014 The old trail edging the open field along Island 7

 

 

 

 

 

The old trail – edging the open field along Island 7

Large trees help to delineate the trail

 

 

 

 

 

The new trail – large trees help to delineate

The new ski trail

 

 

 

 

 

The new trail

 

STANSKI trail setter, Ken Reniak, gave a very positive evaluation after trialing the new trail soon after setting the first tracks. Anyone else encountered on the trail since then has provided only positive feedback. It appears the effort to combine re-naturalization and winter ski use enjoyment is going to pay off for all who now have a vested interest in the reforestation project.

These first photos of the new trail help to illustrate how the placement of larger trees has been used to delineate the location of the new ski path. In addition, deer exclosures (using wire fencing) and ‘planting islands’ containing numerous small spruce trees (some seen in winter poking through the snow) border the new trail and also help to define its location while at the same time remain protected from users.

The new ski trail edges next to the various tree and shrub plantings

 

 

 

 

 

Tree and shrub plantings next to the new trail

Little Spruce trees poking throught the snow

 

 

 

 

 

Little spruce trees poking through the snow

Large aspen and large white spruce were planted next to the trail

 

 

 

 

 

Large aspen and white spruce next to planting island

 

Plans are underway to continue the effort to re-naturalize open areas in Riverlot 56 in 2015. The next focus area might be called the “south quarter” since it is an area on the southern edge of Riverlot 56 (next to Poundmaker) and represents about one quarter of the estimated 50 acres (20 hectares) of open fields (disturbed agricultural spaces). The first requirement is to assemble the necessary funds through grant acquisition to purchase the materials (spruce trees, deciduous trees and shrubs, wire fencing, stakes, etc.) and services (water haulage, tree spade transplanting, etc.). Members of the board are currently working on grant submissions.